Apr 27 2016 2:00PM
Trigger-happy: Rio’s security forces show their true colours ahead of Olympics
The taxi from Rio’s international airport skirts around the edge of a sprawling favela, where rust-coloured breeze block houses line narrow alleyways, blue plastic water tanks perch on roofs and laundry dances in the breeze under corru...
Jan 29 2016 10:16PM
Human rights crisis in Dunkirk as refugees face squalor and chaos
A row of featureless, modern, two-storey houses lines one side of the Boulevard Pierre Mendes France on the outskirts of Dunkirk, with cars parked in driveways and American-style letter boxes standing to attention on front lawns. A man...
Nov 26 2015 8:00AM
Raising a glass to press freedom
A TV journalist is shot dead in Pakistan, a photographer tortured in Egypt, a radio station raided in Sierra Leone, a fixer jailed in Turkey, reporters murdered in Brazil, and bloggers hacked to death in Bangladesh. In the wake of the...
Jun 16 2015 5:17PM
Imagine if the International Olympic Committee spoke out on Azerbaijan
As the European Games opened in Baku on Friday with Lady Gaga belting out Imagine from behind a grand piano buried in foliage, it was impossible to know for sure how John Lennon would have felt about his iconic protest song being appro...
Jan 12 2015 2:18PM
Azerbaijan: Land of Fire? It is for some.
Six months from now Baku, the capital of gas-and-oil rich Azerbaijan, will host the first ever European Games. There will be the usual cycling, running and swimming, and the less usual sambo , a martial arts-wrestling hybrid originally...
Jan 9 2015 3:59PM
I might disapprove of what you say, but I'll defend your right to say it... #JeSuisCharlie
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists , 61 journalists were killed last year in direct reprisals for their work. The most dangerous country was, unsurprisingly, Syria. Just over a week into 2015, and the CPJ’s figure is alr...
Dec 1 2014 12:41PM
No room at the inn for Syria's refugees
It’s less than a month until Christmas but it looks like there’s no room at the inn for Syrian refugees in the UK. New figures released by the government today show that the UK has resettled just 90 out of at least 3.5 million refugees...
Nov 16 2014 8:00AM
Spain's long road to peace… via Argentina
A winding and deserted road through the rocky, pine-covered foothills of the Sierra de Guadarrama to the north-west of Madrid eventually leads to arguably the most controversial monument in Spain: Valle de los Caídos, or Valley of the...
Oct 22 2014 5:32PM
An English woman, a Scottish woman and a Northern Irish woman walk into an abortion clinic
An English woman, a Scottish woman and a Northern Irish woman walk into an abortion clinic. The English woman says, ‘I’ve been raped. Am I allowed an abortion?’ The receptionist says, “Yes (as long as two doctors confirm it is in your...
Jul 7 2014 12:10PM
From football to falafel - Palestinian footballer Mahmoud Sarsak on prison, torture and how his national dish changed his life
As Jerusalem waits to hear in September if it will be a host city for Euro 2020, Palestinian footballer Mahmoud Sarsak, who spent three years in an Israeli jail without charge or trial, is concerned that sportspeople like him are being...
Jan 29 2014 6:21PM
Taking Swan Lake to the Russian Embassy
It rained and rained and then it rained some more. Of course, that’s not news in London. But when out of that rain, against a threatening grey sky and across a main road with two lanes of traffic tearing along in each direction, appear...
Dec 23 2013 4:49PM
Pussy Riot are free, but what about Mikhail Kosenko?
When Pussy Riot member Nadia Tolokonnikova was freed this week in Putin’s much-reported prisoner amnesty, she accused the Russian government of merely putting on “ another show ahead of the Olympics …such is their big desire to prevent...
Sep 11 2013 4:38PM
Chile's 9/11 - 40 years on from Pinochet's coup
Imagine getting home one day to find your house smashed up, your children locked in a room, your husband nowhere to be seen. Imagine tanks rolling down your street, young soldiers looking out, eyes darting nervously, guns pointing at y...
Jul 9 2013 5:03PM
"They took all our money and beat my sister": Migrants at the mercy of the Greek coastguard
When 17-year-old B’s sister and parents were killed in a bomb attack in Ghazni, Afghanistan in September last year, it didn’t take him long to realise it was time to get out. Fearing for his own life and the lives of his two younger si...
Jun 18 2013 5:24PM
Why Spain must investigate Franco-era crimes
In the tourist office in Madrid’s elegant Plaza Mayor last summer I asked what there was to see that had anything to do with the civil war. The woman behind the counter told me: “No hay casi nada. Es un tema cerrado” (“There’s hardly a...
Apr 24 2013 10:42AM
"It could have been you or me": Protect refugees on Europe's borders
I had only been back from Greece for a few days last week when I read the shocking story of the 200 Bangladeshi farm workers in the Peloponnese who were shot at by their bosses for demanding the wages they’d been owed for seven months....
Apr 16 2013 4:52PM
‘The world needs to know what’s happening here’ – Migrants living on the margins in Athens
Last week I wrote from the island of Lesbos , where we met people fleeing war, violence and hunger and trying to get to Europe. If you read that blog you may have been shocked at the treatment they receive in Greece. Everyone we spoke...
Apr 12 2013 11:41AM
Despair at Europe's borders: 'Why don’t they just send me back to die?'
There is a rustic charm about Mytilene, the ramshackle port capital of the Greek island of Lesbos. But behind the romance of the tumbledown buildings, winding cobbled alleyways and lively pavement cafés on the edge of the Aegean, somet...
Nov 29 2012 9:48AM
President Hollande breaks promise on treatment of Roma
You would have thought I would have learned by now. Time and time again I fall for the promises of politicians. Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes they do deliver, but... The latest example is the new President of France. I give you Fra...
Oct 25 2012 5:04PM
EU must get to grips with policing to justify Nobel Peace Prize
Most people would agree that the police are supposed to protect the public - upholding our rights at the same time as keeping order and making sure people are acting lawfully. In Europe, we don’t expect to be beaten up, detained arbitr...
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